Cattle Rancher, Secret Son

by Margaret Way

Fate leads to double the romance in Australian cattle country

Margaret Way's Cattle Rancher, Secret Son is a short tender romance with class conflicts that separate the hero and heroine. Cattle Rancher, Secret Son is actually a double romance with both romances equally well developed rather than one main and one short glance at a secondary romance. The double structure gives a rich expansiveness to this romance because the reader sees some of the conflicts in more detail as they affect both couples. This depth makes Cattle Rancher, Secret Son an absorbing romance read. Margaret Way makes the life of the Australian cattle stations and rural high society come alive.

Cattleman Calvin McKendrick is not just a rancher. He is the son of a renowned Australian cattle baron! His father has very definite old school ideas and Cal's mother and aunt will stop at nothing to make sure that their family is the toast of society. When Cal sees a newspaper article featuring Gina Romano as a hero, his past obsession is reawakened. He had finally learned to put away the hatred he felt after her betrayal years ago but can he put away his anger and find his love for Gina again? Gina met Cal while working as a maid in a vacation resort. When she found out she was pregnant, she knew she could never tell Cal with his family so set in their society ways. Instead, she kept Robbie a secret. Now that Cal has come to her door, can she protect her son and her heart? Can their convenient agreement stand against the historic power of the McKendrick family and lead to something beyond shared parenthood? The second romance Cal's sister Meredith McKendrick, a strong forceful woman who breaks against the family society tradition. In love with Steve, the illegitimate son of another cattle baron, can she also stand up for love? Can Steve Lancaster come to terms with his family heritage and his love of Meredith especially when a tragedy strikes and everything he has known changes the stakes?

Margaret Way's prologue casts Cattle Rancher, Secret Son as a story of fated or destined romance. The prologue itself reads a bit differently than the rest of the romance. The sentences are longer with images drawn together with connections that do not flow as smoothly as the author's writing in the main romance. Nevertheless, I find the content of the prologue quite intriguing and delightfully unusual. The prologue gives the entire romance a rich context of fate that Margaret Way develops through both events and theme. At the same time, a fast-paced action scene leads straight into the romance. Margaret Way writes an epilogue just as intriguing as the prologue, giving the reader a new insight from a humorous and delightfully unique perspective.

The double romance in Cattle Rancher, Secret Son gives this read a delightful depth as the reader's vision expands to the entire McKendrick family and the conflicts that the traditional high society family brings to their children. Not only does the reader see the pressure on the dominant favored oldest son and heir and his search for true love but also the toll on the daughter who as a woman within the family must stand up against her family for equality. She must also stand up for herself when love is at stake. Margaret Way creates a dual conflict that reinforces the image of love. Love is not just a match of the heart between a man and a woman against or in despite of others' values. Love is also an inner change that happens within an individual's heart that changes the individual and brings him or her to a more authentic whole as an individual. In Margaret Way's Cattle Rancher, Secret Son, fate may bring people together but even in the case of fated love, romance is something born in the heart that moves the heart to new heights. A wonderfully rich romance read!

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From the back cover:
He's the toast of Australian society…

Cattleman Cal McKendrick is under pressure from his family to produce an heir for the magnificent McKendrick homestead that lies deep in the Outback. Then he discovers he's already a father!

She's the mother of the son he never knew he had

Gina Romano had loved Cal with all her soul. But in her heart she'd known she'd never be good enough for him or his society family—so she'd kept her pregnancy secret. Now that Cal knows the truth, he demands she marry him. But Gina wants Cal's love, not just to be his convenient bride.…

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